Does The ‘Grim Sleeper’ Serial Killer Have Five More Victims?

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., who has been dubbed the Grim Sleeper of Los Angeles, may have five more victims than what he is being tried for, according to the Toronto Sun.

The 63-three-year-old serial killer, who is a former garbage man and onetime garage attendant for the Los Angeles police, is being tried for the murder of nine women and one 15-year-old girl from 1985-1988 and then from 2002-2007. The apparent hiatus from killing between 1988 and 2002 is what gave him the name the “Grim Sleeper,” but now it has come to light that he may have taken five more victims in that time.

Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman plans to begin outlining evidence on Thursday of five additional deaths that she believes the serial killer caused during his 13 years of “sleeping.”

Franklin is already on trial for 10 deaths and jurors of the Los Angeles Superior Court are deciding whether the serial killer will be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

The Grim Sleeper is known for targeting and murdering young black females, but he is also convicted of kidnapping and raping one German women and attempting to kidnap another German when he was stationed in the country with the U.S. Army in 1974. Silverman plans to present testimony from one of the German women during the trail.

Silverman will also take the opportunity to present evidence of the five additional killings. The evidence is of similar killings that can be connected to Franklin which have not come to light and are only now known after Franklin has been indicted. This hidden evidence is because Silverman believed the additional five killings would have delayed the case that has already taken almost six years to bring to trial even more. Most of Franklin’s victims were found dumped in alleyways with gunshot wounds and all were naked, partially clothed, or had their clothes undone.

The serial killer’s defense attorney, Seymour Amster, said that the remains of two of the five additional women Silverman has accused the Grim Sleeper of killing have never been found. Amster said that it is just speculation that Franklin had anything to do with the additional disappearances and blames drugs for the missing women.

“There’s no evidence of a violent crime,” Amster said. “It was the crack epidemic… anything could have happened.”

Amster tried to persuade a judge on Wednesday that the additional evidence should be barred from the penalty phase of the trial. Judge Kathleen Kennedy said the evidence was admissible, but that Silverman should consider taking a more “conservative route.”

Despite Amster claiming that there is no evidence that Franklin committed any additional violent crimes, the student identification card of one of the women, Ayellah Marshall, 18, who has been missing since 2006, was found in Franklin’s garage. The driver’s licence of another missing women, Rolenia Morris, 29, who was last seen in 2005, was also found, along with two photos of her.

The photos and ID’s were found in Franklin’s garage refrigerator, which prosecutors have referred to as the serial killer’s “trophy chest” because it contained photos of many women, including women he is being charged of murdering.

The seven-woman, five-man jury deliberated for one-and-a-half days before finding Franklin guilty of the 10 killings, according to My News L.A.

Franklin was convicted of killing:

  • Debra Jackson, 29, found dead from three gunshot wounds to the chest in an alley on Aug. 10, 1985.
  • Henrietta Wright, a 34-year-old mother-of-five, was shot twice in the chest and found in an alley with a cloth gag on Aug. 12, 1986.
  • Barbara Ware, 23, shot once in the chest and found under a pile of garbage in an alley on Jan. 10, 1987.
  • Bernita Sparks, 26, shot once in the chest and found in a trash bin with her shirt and pants unbuttoned on April 16, 1987.
  • Mary Lowe, 26, shot in the chest and found in an alley with her pants unzipped behind a large shrub on Nov. 1, 1987.
  • Lachrica Jefferson, 22, found in an alley dead from two gunshot wounds to the chest and a napkin over her face with the handwritten word “AIDS” on it on Jan. 30, 1988.
  • Alicia Alexander, 18, killed by a gunshot wound to the chest and found naked under a mattress in an alley on Sept. 11, 1988.
  • Princess Berthomieux, 15, strangled and discovered naked and hidden in shrubbery in an alley in Inglewood on March 9, 2002.
  • Valerie McCorvey, 35, strangled and found dead with her clothes pulled down at the entrance to a locked alley on July 11, 2003.
  • Janecia Peters, 25, shot in the back and found naked inside a sealed plastic trash bag in a trash bin in an alley on Jan. 1, 2007.

Franklin has remained in jail without bail since he was arrested in July, 2010, by LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division detectives.

[Photo via Barbara Davidson/AP]